Burlington Continues Flood Battle - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Burlington Continues Flood Battle

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City crews in Burlington continue to monitor pumps and Hesco barriers holding back historic flood waters after some protection measures failed this weekend. But it could have been much worse.

Burlington has used 6,000 tons of sand to contain this flood, both with these sand bags around the storm sewers trying to keep that from backing up and in the Hesco barriers around the auditorium and the lift station. Plastic wrapped around wire and fabric filled with sand, they hold back a lot of water. But you can see from what happened at the lift station on Saturday, they aren't fool proof

"And when you have a little bit of a weak link in that sand system and it weakens, evidently that's what happened and it gave back, gave way in that corner," Burlington Public Works director Steve Hoambrecker said.

Fortunately, before that corner gave way, crews had already built additional barriers inside that area, isolating the lift station and stopping the flooding from spreading to the rest of downtown.

"We have been able to protect the auditorium and keep everything in there form being ruined and have to be replaced,"Hoambreckerr said.

Still, city crews were unable to save the lift station pumps from the rising water.

"We expect that we may have somewhere around $100-thousand in damage at the lift station," he said.

When the lift station went down, water started coming up in area basements, including the nearby post office, now closed for business. Workers there and elsewhere continue efforts to pump the water out.

Much of that water is collecting in the street along with what has come up through the storm sewers and leached out through the sandbags.

City officials say it's still too early to know for sure what went wrong with the barrier that broke. The priority now is getting life along the river back to normal as quickly as possible.

"I'm glad it's going down," Burlington street and sewer department's GregJohnsonn said. "Should just get easier after this."

Money has already been set aside in the Burlington city budget to put more permanent flood protection around the lift station. They'll be working on the designs in the coming months.

 

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